A rare old week…

It’s been a rare old week at www.whatreallywinsmoney.co.uk for any followers of my each way selections. On 2 December we saw a winner at Betfair odds of 52.69 and that was followed up on 3 December by three winners at odds of 15.2, 2.6 and 8.4. Yesterday saw a winner at 6.52.

What’s the secret to selecting these big-priced each way winners?

It’s all based on Sherlock Holmes-like logic. (I am sure I would get a higher strike rate if Lucy Liu was my Watson! If my publisher could organise that for me, then I would be most grateful!)

Which race is best suited to each way betting? (This website explains all you need to know about each way betting.)

Lucy Liu has deducted that an eight or nine-runner race is best for each way betting. Why? It is the shortest field to pay out on the three places available.

How can we increase our probability of picking a winner in these races? I approach this, with the help of Lucy Liu (thanks Lucy!), by:

a) Making two selections in one race. One a usual selection, the other a speculative selection at higher odds.

b) I look for a race with a short-priced favourite and ideally three or four ‘apparent outsiders’.

Elementary my dear Lucy Liu.

Let’s look at that race where I selected a 52.69 odds winner. This is the race on 2 December: the 1.00 p.m. at Sedgefield. What you see below is the Betting Forecast at the Racing Post (www.racingpost.com)…

100 Sedgefield Betting Forecast: 5/4 Mount Haven, 7/2 Greensalt, 13/2 Attention Seaker, 13/2 Waterclock, 11/1 Daring Exit, 14/1 Dibdabs, 14/1 The Last Leg, 33/1 Jennys Layla, 50/1 Craigdancer.    

Note the check-list above? We have a nine-runner race. We have a short-priced favourite in Mount Haven. We have at least two apparent outsiders in Jennys Layla and Craigdancer.

Now let’s increase our probability of success by making two selections. I chose Attention Seeker, the third-favourite, and Dibdabs, a horse two places from the two outsiders.

As it happened, Dibdabs won at odds of 25/1 with the bookmakers and 52.69 with Betfair. And therein lies the final secret. Bet these biggies to Betfair SP. (All the B’s!)

The reason this bet was a success was because the favourite, Mount Haven, finished only fourth, thus opening up the three available each way places to better-priced horses. And that is what we hope for from these short-priced ‘good things’.

Try this out for yourself this week. Or if you are a What Really Wins Money member, I make my selections available at www.whatreallywinsmoney.co.uk every day.

From backing to laying…

Rory McIlroy lost in Australia last weekend, and again this player, leading in the first round of a golf tournament going into Friday, was a successful lay at odds of less than 2.5. I must admit, I thought he would win easily, but hey, what do I know?

This is something I will follow up into the 2015 season. If you want to, go to www.betfair.com, click on ‘Golf’, and look at the Winner market for all in-play golf tournaments for any short-priced leaders after the first round on a Thursday.

They do look vulnerable don’t they? With three more rounds of golf to go, and with a (hopefully) competitive field. I am beginning to make a list of leaders on a Friday morning in competitive (and liquid) golf tournaments. There might be the seeds of a season-long laying or trading strategy here?

The ideals to look for? A competitive and high-profile golf tournament with a high-class field.

And another lay idea?

I have been thinking about the ideal lay strategy. For me, an ideal lay strategy is one where we lay odds-on shots, because risk is at its lowest, and we control the amount of money at risk on any one bet.

So, where do we find an abundant supply of odds-on shots, on a daily basis? The horse racing Place Only market: that’s where!

This market is available at betting exchanges. It offers you the opportunity to back a horse to place only (as with each way betting, which is two bets in one – the first bet to win, the second to place), usually in the first three in an eight-runner race.

Or it offers you to opportunity to lay a horse to place – that is to back the horse NOT to finish in the first three in an eight-runner (or more) race.

The key to laying odds-on shots (that is, horses under evens or 2.00 decimal at betting exchanges like Betfair), is to lay to a fixed liability.

A fixed liability ‘fixes’ your maximum loss when you lay a horse. For example, if you want to ensure your risk is a maximum of £10 on every lay, you can fix your liability to £10.

The neat thing about fixed liability and odds-on shots is this… If your lay is successful and you have layed an odds-on shot, you will win back more than you risked. The shorter the odds, the bigger the profit!

This means we can get by with a low(ish) strike rate.

I am working on a number of fixed liability lay strategies and if they prove successful, well, you’ll be the first to know! There is one strategy which has turned £100 into £537 since 2 July. That is every exciting, although the bank has fallen since 28 October.

Can you come up with a lay idea for odds-on shots?

And on to football…

Sticking with laying, I’d like to introduce you to a football market which is ripe for a good old lay (Lucy Liu likes a good old lay). It’s the Halftime/Fulltime market.

Essentially, for the backer, this market asks you to predict the result at halftime and at fulltime. Here’s a look at that market for a match tonight between Dortmund and Hoffenheim at www.betfair.com…


I like to lay in markets of more than three outcomes. In this market above, we have nine outcomes. So by laying one of these outcomes, you have the other nine running for you.

A great website to help you see the halftime/fulltime record for these teams can be found here.

Here’s the record for these teams:

‘1’ means the home team won, ‘x’ means it was a draw, and ‘2’ means the away side won.

Seeing a ‘1-1’ means that, for instance, Dortmund won the first half and second half. Seeing ‘2-x’ for example means that the away side won the first half and the match was a draw at fulltime.

At-a-glance, therefore, you can see that Dortmund have only won both halfs (represented as a ‘1-1’ above or ‘Dortmund/Dortmund’ at Betfair) in one match at home this season.  

We also see that both sides have only had a single ‘Draw/Draw’ or ‘X-X’ result this season in their home (Dortmund) and away (Hoffenheim) matches.

Perhaps you’d like to create a betting system out of this information. Hoffenheim for example, have not won at halftime or fulltime together all season (their odds are a bit high, so perhaps lay ‘Hoffenheim/Hoffenheim’ in the Halftime/Fulltime market if they score first in the first half?

Would you trust ‘Dortmund/Dortmund’ at home, based on these results? Another representation of halftime/fulltime stats can be found here.

The ideal here is to focus on the shortest-priced bet in the market and see if there is enough evidence to lay. I’ll go into this in more detail later.

I’m off to consult Lucy Liu now on some more pressing business.

Have a great weekend.